And it is raining.
The sun hasn't shown it's light for more than a day at a time over the last several weeks. The sky is gray and dark and gloomy. The earth has been muddy slosh, not able to absorb all that wetting.
Even in the rain...
the birds sing
the vegetables grow
the flowers bud
....because of the rain.
Life-pain. Moments you never want to experience, but you do. Sickness, abandonment, depression...life-pain. Moment by moment we draw our breath and seek peace. We cling to hope, long for assurance. We wait for the words which will finally bring relief.
Through it all we have Emmanuel...God with us. Never am I more keenly aware of Emmanuel than in the middle of pain. C.S. Lewis said, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world." (The Problem of Pain).
Pain and God. We don't like to pair the two. We know God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life and that doesn't match up with pain. In the midst of pain we must trust on the God who loves the world even when our world feels anything but loved.
God is love. The prince of this world is pain. We must never confuse the two. In our pain God is there, holding us, loving us. We don't always feel it and so we must rely on others to be God's hands and feet to hold us and love us.
Be the love of God to those experiencing life-pain. Pray for them when they can't pray. Cook for them when they are hungry. Hug them while they weep.
God speaks during the pain, but we most often hear Him after the pain. After the rain. When the birds fly, vegetables ripen, and flowers blossom. Life-pain is inevitable...we are none immune. Stay close to God now before it arrives so you have hope when it does.